906 Plaid Upper Peninsula Decal Sticker
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All About The 906 Area Code & Upper Peninsula Time Zones

Are you a newbie to Upper Peninsula travel? Then this is for you! You’ll want to make note of these details about the Upper Peninsula time zones and 906 area code to avoid any confusion while exploring The 906!

Most travelers are aware of the following bit of key information, but unfortunately some poor souls I met while traveling the Upper Peninsula this summer were not: they were hoping to get from Iron Mountain to Munising for a Pictured Rocks sunset cruise and missed the boat because of the time zone issue.

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There are TWO Time Zones in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

The Upper Peninsula counties that border Wisconsin are in the Central time zone: Menominee, Gogebic, Iron, and Dickinson counties. Everywhere else in the Upper Peninsula goes by Eastern time.

But all of them are squarely within the 906 area code. That means you can drive along the shore of Lake Superior in the Western UP to Northern Michigan University in Marquette in the Central UP over to Sault Ste. Marie in the Eastern UP and down to St. Ignace, and still be in the borders of the 906!

The time zone thing was an ongoing issue while I was growing up in Menominee County because we lived pretty close to Delta County. About 10 minutes away from the county line, to be exact.

“My time or your time?” was something I heard almost daily. So if you’ve gotten mixed up, don’t feel bad. You’re in good company.

And the area code thing is just good to know. Not just here, but anywhere in the country, it’s common to see phone numbers listed without the area code. (Okay, yeah… it’s a pet peeve)

“Great lake view cabins! Call 457-5467!” (Sounds perfect, let’s call! Oh, wait a minute…)

So there you have it. Now if I run across someone else who’s going to miss a Pictured Rocks cruise, at least it won’t be one of you!

Upper Peninsula 906 Sweatshirt
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Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has ONE Area Code: 906

Every landline phone number in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan begins with 906. This is why the UP is often referred to as “the 906.” It’s a number that looks the same if you turn it upside down and it doesn’t extend anywhere beyond the UP.

Fun Fact: Across the United States, there are 14 states that have a single area code and the largest is 907, which encompasses all of Alaska. But the 906 is in a category all its own and it’s the sixth largest area code east of the Mississippi River.

When the nation’s first telephone numbering system launched in 1947, Michigan had just three area codes: 313, 616, and 517.

The Upper Peninsula was once part of the 616 grouping, which ran from Lake Huron’s north shore, through the middle of Michigan, and down to the Indiana state line.

Believe it or not, this configuration of the 616 area code was the nation’s largest numbering plan east of the Mississippi without making up a whole state. It also had the largest coverage area of Michigan’s 3 area codes at the time.

The Upper Peninsula’s famous 906 area code was assigned in March 1961 and serves more than 300,000 people. Because it serves only that many people, it’s unlikely that phone number combinations starting with 906 won’t run out any time soon.

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Yoopers Love to Celebrate the 906 Area Code

Upper Peninsula residents love their area code so much that they celebrate it yearly. Each year on Sept. 6, or “906” on the calendar, Yoopers celebrate 906 Day.

Marquette businessman Bugsy Sailor, the official, unofficial ambassador of the Upper Peninsula, came up with the idea more than a decade ago and 2022 marked the 11th year for this special celebration.

The idea, Sailor said, started as a promotion for his shop, U.P. Supply Co. in Marquette (which sells great 906 swag), but it has now taken on a life of its own.

It’s been recognized all over social media in recent years by everyone from members of the state House and Senate to the Michigan State Police to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Finding Your Own Way to Celebrate 906 Day

How can you celebrate 906 Day? Why like a Yooper of course!

Sailor suggests activities like swimming in the Great Lakes, playing euchre, toasting with some tasty Upper Peninsula beers, eating a pasty, and just taking in the fresh air and beauty of the U.P. to name a few things.

Scores of Yoopers get in on the fun of 906 Day, but local businesses find ways to participate too. In past years, at least one Marquette tattoo parlor has offered specials on UP and Lake Superior tattoos and other local businesses have offered their own discounts and specials.

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Don’t Miss Exploring The 906

No matter where they live, Michiganders are proud to call themselves residents of a state with two peninsulas. For many residents of the Mitten State, the UP is Michigan’s own slice of paradise; the perfect getaway spot for beautiful scenery, outdoor adventures, and popular tourist destinations.

Related: THE Best Things to Do in the Upper Peninsula

Missing on Maps? Michigan’s Forgotten Peninsula

But it seems that in some places, the Upper Peninsula isn’t afforded the same sterling reputation it enjoys in Michigan. In some cases, it’s left off of maps completely!

Rather than being shown as a part of Michigan, different maps have given the impression that the UP is a part of Canada or Wisconsin (which even die-hard Green Bay Packers fans in the UP will tell you isn’t true)!

Yoopers have reacted to these gaffes with a variety of reactions from annoyance to anger to bemusement.

Ishpeming’s mayor Lindsay Bean has a simple solution to the problem: Use both hands.

Michiganders are used to holding up their hand to point out where they’re from, but Bean suggests using both hands to accurately represent the entire state.

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What’s in a Name? 906 of Course!

Yoopers are fiercely proud of where they live and what the 906 means to the Upper Peninsula.

They’re so proud of it that many businesses all over the UP have incorporated 906 into their names. Some of the UP’s “906” businesses include:

Upper Peninsula 906 Camp Mug
UP Coffee Mug 906 | available for purchase via SuperiorSweetWater on Etsy

Make Your Way to the 906 Today

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a wondrous place to visit any time of year, so there’s never been a better time to start planning a trip to the 906.

Whether you want to make the journey to celebrate 906 Day or just visit to experience all the wonders the UP has to offer, there’s so much to see and do, you’ll have a permanent smile during your visit.

So plan your trip to the UP and eat a pasty or visit a waterfall or even play a game of euchre. All of those things will make you appreciate the 906 even more!